The jekt trade

The Jekt trade museum tells the story of the raw coastal culture and how the ships, called a "jekt" were responsible for almost all freight of goods from Northern Norway and large parts of the west coast for over 400 years. We offer experiences and reflection. You will learn about the struggles and life on board, the history of the dried fish trade, power and powerlessness, profit and risk - while also getting a sense of the smell of tar and dried fish.

The Jekt Trade was central to Norway's largest export before the oil and fishing exports. The trade that the ships were responsible for was a vital lifeline in the communities. Cod liver oil, dried fish, salted cod, timber, firewood and agricultural goods were transported along the coast and supplied cities like Bergen, Trondheim and Kristiansund. In return, they brought back the vital grain, as well as liquor, hemp and fishing equipment and everything they needed to survive before the next voyage. With the Jekts came cultural influences, new habits and goods from distant lands.

At its peak, over 200 Jekts sailed along the coast annually, and throughout history, it is estimated that over 3000 Jekts were built. From Northern Norway to Bergen - over 100 miles each way. The crew often risked their lives on the long voyage.

It is a paradox that almost none of these important vessels have been preserved. Today, only three older Jektes are preserved, the Holvikjekt in Sandane, Pauline on Inderøy and Anna Karoline at the Jekt Trade Museum in Bodøsjøen. Pauline is the only one that still sails, but that requires constant repairs and renovations. In 1954, the museum bought the Jekt "Anna Karoline" from the Angell family in Hopen in Lofoten. However, it took many years before the planned museum became a reality. 

Our pride and main attraction, the Jekt Anna Karoline.
Photo: Ernst Furuhatt


The museum has two large exhibition halls and a building with a café, museum shop, and auditorium. In the displays, you can see unique maritime and cultural objects from the history of Nordland. The Jekt Trade Museum is located in the middle of Bodøsjøen Open-Air Museum, which is a collection of older buildings from Salten. With Bodøsjøen Open-Air Museum consisting of 14 different buildings surrounding the Jekt Trade Museum, it helps to deepen the history of Nordland and life in the fishing farming communities.

The Jekt Trade Museum seen from Bodøsjøen Open-air museum
Photo: Ernst Furuhatt